Full-Time OSAP FAQs


How do I upload a document on the OSAP website?

Tips:

  • A PDF file uploads best
  • Password protected files will not upload
  • The file must be smaller than 1mb.  Need help? 4 Ways to Compress a PDF File
  • Blue and black ink scan the best
  • All documents must be scanned and upload separately
  • The Change Request form can be uploaded under ‘Application Update’
  • Do not upload the Master Student Financial Assistance Agreement (MSFAA). Please take it to a designated Canada Post Outlet for processing

The first step is to scan the document:

To maintain the best possible document quality, use the following settings (or equivalent) during the scanning process:

  • Scan all documents as black and white (even colour documents)
  • Select the text option (as opposed to the picture option)
  • Use the smallest dpi (dots per inch) setting to create the file (normally 150 or 200 dpi)
  • Save the file as a PDF (.pdf)

The second step is to upload the document:

  • Click the ‘upload’ link on the OSAP website that corresponds to the document
  • Click the ‘browse’ button and locate your file with the scanned document
  • Select the file and click ‘open’
  • Receive a confirmation message once your document is accepted
  • Repeat the process for each required document

What is considered ‘full-time status’ as per OSAP?  

The enrolment in Mosaic must match the course load percentage indicated on your OSAP application. If you applied for the fall and winter terms at a 100% course load in Humanities, you would need to enroll in 15 units in each term to receive your OSAP funding. Starting in mid-September, SFAS will review OSAP files were enrolment is incomplete and make the appropriate changes to the OSAP application (i.e. changes to course load percentage or study period start/end dates).

To be eligible for full-time OSAP, students must enroll in at least a 60% course load or a 40% course load if you are a student with a permanent disability. Instructions on how to calculate this percentage are available on the full-time OSAP page.


How do I qualify for ‘free tuition’?

Students are required to apply early for OSAP to be considered for the grants that could cover the cost of a year’s tuition. The new OSAP will make average tuition free for students whose families make less than $50,000 a year. Students from families that earn more will also benefit from more generous grants and loans, and about 80% of all OSAP recipients will graduate with less provincial debt.

The University will continue to charge students tuition and fees. Students can select a redirect option on the OSAP application. Student Financial Aid & Scholarships will then forward funding to McMaster Student Accounts on their behalf. Students are always encouraged to check their student account regularly to avoid unnecessary interest charges.


What is ‘net tuition’ and where can I view my out-of-pocket expenses?

Net tuition = Tuition fees (excluding supplementary fees) MINUS non-repayable grants and aid.
‘Net Tuition’ is the amount the student needs to pay out-of-pocket towards tuition.

McMaster offers a new Account Statement and a Tuition, Aid & Awards Summary screen that can be accessed through the Mosaic Student Center.


Do I have to re-direct my OSAP funding to McMaster?

On the OSAP application, students have options for the payment of OSAP funding:
1. Direct deposit of OSAP funding to their McMaster student account.
2. OSAP funding deposited to their personal bank account.

Apply for OSAP by June 30 to ensure you meet the McMaster fall fee deadline. The student is responsible for any outstanding balance on their student account even if the ‘redirection of funds’ is selected on the OSAP application.


My family income is more than $50,000 so why should I apply for OSAP?

OSAP will be assessing students from middle income families for more generous grant and loan entitlements. Depending on the OSAP assessment, McMaster scholarships and external resources a student can achieve ‘free tuition’.


How do I apply for OSAP for one term when enrolled in graduate studies?

Most graduate programs are set up in the OSAP system with three term assessments as students need to be enrolled and have fees assessed for all three terms. In the event that the student will not be attending university for all three terms, it is the student’s responsibility to inform Student Financial Aid & Scholarships by submitting a SFAS Change Request Form. Graduate students in an ‘out-of-time’ or ‘overtime’ status should be assessed for OSAP on a term-by-term basis to avoid a future OSAP overpayment. The SFAS Change Request Form should be submitted prior to the beginning of the term.


What if I didn’t receive sufficient OSAP?

A Student Loans and Awards Officer is available to review your submitted OSAP application with you. Check our website under Contacts for counselling hours. No appointment is required. Please bring two pieces of government photo ID and your student ID card to discuss personal information.


Can I get OSAP funding for taking over a 100% course load?

Students must be enrolled in all courses by the add/drop date for that term for the ‘overload’ to be considered as part of the course load on their OSAP application. Students intending to complete an overload of courses and require extra funding can indicate a course load over 100% on their OSAP application. Course load is calculated per term. Dropping courses after receiving funding can lead to academic progress restrictions and overpayments. If in doubt, drop in for counselling with a Student Loans & Awards Officer for advice.


How do I make a change to my OSAP application after it is submitted?

After the OSAP application is submitted, students are not able to make a correction or change online.

There are two methods to making OSAP application changes: Students can complete the SFAS Change Request form (PDF) available on the SFAS website; or, print, complete and sign the respective page(s) from the OSAP paper application.  

Completed forms/pages should be uploaded via the OSAP website under the category of ‘Change to Your Application’. Please note that all application changes must be submitted this way. SFAS does not accept changes to the OSAP application via email.


Why is my OSAP confirmation of enrolment not completed?

There are a number of reasons for the confirmation of enrolment not being completed depending on the time of the year:

  1. It may be too early – confirmations of enrolment can be completed within 15 days prior to the study period start date
  2. It may be too late – confirmations of enrolment cannot be completed with less than five days remaining in the study period
  3. Your OSAP application may be incomplete
  4. Your enrolment in Mosaic may not equal the course load percentage you indicated on your OSAP application
  5. You may not be enrolled for all terms indicated on your OSAP application

Can I get OSAP for courses taken on a letter of permission (LOP)? 

If you are enrolled at McMaster and taking courses at another OSAP approved, Ontario institution, you can: 

  • Apply for OSAP at McMaster
  • Complete the Confirmation of Fees form with the other school’s Financial Aid Office
  • Submit the form to McMaster SFAS
  • Receive assessment from OSAP for all courses

** Courses at the other institution must have the same sessional start and end dates as McMaster to be considered. Online courses through Athabasca are not normally considered. Schools outside of Canada cannot be included on an OSAP application through Letter of Permission.

If you are enrolled at another school to gain credits towards a McMaster degree with no McMaster enrolment at that time, you can:

  • Apply for OSAP through the new institution

What is income verification (IVS)? 

Income Verification can impact the status of your OSAP. Completed IVS appeal forms can be mailed directly to the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development (MAESD) or dropped off at SFAS (Gilmour Hall, Room 120). All appeal processing is completed by the MAESD.


What is an OSAP academic progress warning or restriction? 

OSAP Academic Progress Warnings and Restrictions are different than academic probation for the University. An OSAP academic warning/restriction could be result of the following:

  • Not successfully completing a 60% course load or a 40% course load for students with permanent disabilities in each term
  • Dropping courses
  • Withdrawing from full-time studies
  • Switching programs of study
  • Switching educational institutions

The Academic Progress Summary Form (PDF) is used to clear a warning, restriction or for the decision to be reconsidered based on exceptional circumstances. Upload or submit this form with your OSAP application.


How do I apply for OSAP for subsequent terms in an academic year? 

Students, studying or on a co-op work term, need to apply for OSAP for the upcoming academic year (fall, winter or fall/winter) by June 30th. When a student wants to extend the study period end date to include a term within the same academic year, an OSAP Extension Form is completed and submitted to SFAS (Gilmour Hall-120).


What is an overpayment?

Overpayments are the result of income verification, dropping courses, withdrawing from full-time studies or underestimating your income. With the first overpayment, a letter is sent to the student indicating a reassessment on the OSAP file. Upon a second overpayment, the student is required to repay a portion of the loan to the National Student Loans Service Centre before continuing with OSAP funding. SFAS requires a receipt or print out from the NSLSC website as proof of payment.


Do medicine students report their OMA stipend to OSAP? 

No. The Ontario Medical Association stipend will be updated on a student’s OSAP application by Student Financial Aid & Scholarships.


 

How do I apply for OSAP while on exchange?

Students should take action on the instructions and information regarding financial assistance and exchange (PDF) prior to departure. Students can apply for OSAP to receive funding for a term abroad. Students with previous OSAP can complete a Continuation of Interest-Free Status for the exchange period. OSAP policies remain consistent for studies at McMaster or an international institution. Drop-in counselling is available to exchange students to discuss funding while on an exchange.


What’s New!

Indigenous Entrance Awards: McMaster offers generous awards for Indigenous students entering first year. Find out more about entrance scholarships for Indigenous students. Apply by July 15!


Spring/Summer CIFS: Students enrolled full-time for the spring and/or summer sessions can now submit a Continuation of Interest-Free Status application. Apply online via the OSAP website. Learn more about Interest-Free Status.


18/19 OSAP Application: Students can now apply for OSAP for the 2018/19 academic year. Apply via the OSAP website by June 30th, McMaster’s recommended deadline, if you require your funding in September.


Survey for Spring/Summer Part-Time Students: We want your input! Complete a three-minute survey to help us consider bursary options for funding part-time studies.


External Scholarships Page: Check out our new External Scholarships page for updated information on scholarships available through various companies/organizations.


Rhodes Scholarship Info Webinar: Missed the webinar? Lots of great information about the Rhodes application and experience is available in the webinar presentation (PDF)!


 

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